What would art works or photographs have to do to avoid be(com)ing commodities?

Do you agree with Adorno that the “culture industry” produces standardised commodities? If you do agree with Adorno’s claim, What would art works or photographs have to do to avoid be(com)ing commodities? If you disagree, give examples of artefacts/forms of cultural production/types of photographic practice which, to your mind, are “popular” yet resistant to or critical of the dominant (capitalist) mode of production.
These set questions address a range of topics covered in the module presentations. You will be able to discuss your ideas and choice of question and approach in a tutorial. As well as drawing on the ideas and arguments discussed in PH4024 Visualising the Invisible you can also refer in your essay to your work on other modules too.

You can also, in negotiation with the module tutor, set your own essay question. Should you choose this option, prepare a succinct question that you can propose at your essay tutorial.

As general guidance you should try to choose a question that will allow you to examine a topic in a way that is relevant to your own research interests and practice.

Whichever question you choose to answer, your assignment needs to show and include the following:

·You must include references to contemporary photographic practitioners (contemporary is broadly defined, here, as photographers working since 1970) to support your argument and ideas.

·You must include at least eight references (quotations, citations etc.) to book based sources.

·You must include at least five references (quotations, citations etc.) to journal and magazine essays or articles.

·All references must follow the Harvard rules for referencing – these can be found on the library website. If you are still uncertain, ask one of the support staff at WISER for further guidance.

·You must include relevant images (that are correctly referenced and titled).

·You must include a full bibliography.

·…And, most importantly, you must critically respond to the issues you discuss (not merely describe your chosen examples and issues).

You are free to choose any type of photographic/visual practice or practitioner to analyse in the assignment, but think carefully about the availability of critical, analytical sources in relation to your topic and approach.

If you are struggling to think of an approach or where to get started, think about examining one of the themes or issues discussed in the course of lectures; you can also chose to analyse a themes or issue arising from your own photography this semester. Whatever your approach, contextualise your work with references to both contemporary practitioners and theoretical and written critical sources.

Assessment Criteria

1. The extent to which ideas are explored and researched (30%).

2. The extent to which a coherent argument is structured and presented in a written form (30%).

3. The range of critical debate demonstrated using both historical and contemporary examples (with a minimum of eight book-based references and a minimum of five journal/magazine based references) (30%).

4. Presentation of the essay according to the Harvard system of referencing, (which includes an appropriate and relevant selection of images, correctly titled and referenced) (10%).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

1.Critically and creatively evaluate current issues, research and contemporary practice.

2.Participate and engage with contemporary discourses, and articulate practice within a broader critical and theoretical context related to debates in their subject area.

3.Formulate and develop a rigorous independent academic research project on a selected topic.

Minimum Tangible Evidence of Study

A 3,000 word essay that is well researched, critically argued and coherently structured; that is word-processed, spell-checked, contains a relevant title page, analyses contemporary photographic practice (with relevant images) in relation to a chosen question, uses the Harvard referencing system and includes a bibliography.